Friday, July 20, 2012

Tommy's Take on Irradiated Freaks



My understanding is that Colin Chapman wanted to make a fairly "straight" post-apocalyptic RPG...and folks wanted more "gonzo" ala Gamma World. So Irradiated Freaks was born...

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: Irradiated Freaks is a completely optional supplement of a whopping 58 pages and running $4.99. It requires Atomic Highway in order to use, but that's a free download so don't let that stop you.

Chapter One covers mutations and flaws, with slews of tables to roll on based on the creature type. Amphibian mutations include things like Toxic Skin, Leaping, Chameleon and Wall Crawler. Bird mutaations are things like Drill, Mimic and Stealthy. Bugs have a ton of options, like Furnace Gut, Sticky Silk, Exoskeleton and Acid Bite. Mammal mutations are things like Natural Weapons, Night Vision and Prehensile Feet. Plant Mutations include Carnivorous, Spore Cloud and Toxic Sap. Reptiles can get things like Water Runner, Burrow and Spines. If that's not enough for you, there's the Mondo Mutant Mayhem table(s), which allow you to get ANY mutation or psychic power. Nine new flaws are also provided (like Glowing). New Psychic Powers include Elektrokinesis and Psychic Healing. There are plenty of options to completely flip the lid on the game right here.

Chapter 2 covers new humanoid animal options. This covers a TON of options...including turtles! Snakes of various stripes (no pun intended), apes, emus, meerkats, wolverines and even the mighty platypus is an option. Each entry includes animals that fall under the animal heading, as well as Attribute Points, Customization Skill Points, Abilities and Flaws.

Not enough? Chapter 3 provides humanoid plant options. Want to play a mutant eggplant? You can do that here. Mutant sundew? Check. Venus Flytrap? Oh...yes.

Chapter 4 blows up the bestiary. The first entry is "Angels". Angels? In a post-apocalyptic game? Seen that bef--wait, THESE angels are cute mutant bats that eat humans. Other new creatues include Hawk Squirrels, who look to be part bat, part squirrel. Giant rats and giant sundews are here to creep you out, as well as 25 ft long cockroaches called Stench Roaches. Another freakish entry are vampires: Giant black snakes that latch onto vehicles and drain their gasoline. Bugs aplenty are also included to round out the list (for the arachnaphobes in your group).

The first appendix is a group of random charts for rolling up a character type from scratch, in case the choices are completely overwhelming. These charts also leave the question of whether or not you are mutated up to chance.

Appendix two provides guidelines on making monsters, including an example of taking a lion and turning it into a mutant lion with quills.

An index wraps it up.

WHAT WORKS: Well, it's all completely optional, but this and the main book gives you almost a complete replacement for the After the Bomb RPG with better rules for $5. The mutations are divided between "sensible" and "completely crazy", depending on your tastes...and humanoid plants are included. And charts. Random charts.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: If you didn't care for Atomic Highway, this isn't going to be much use to you.

CONCLUSION: Was Atomic Highway too "safe" for you? This will completely blow it up. It's completely optional, in no way invalidates anything in the assumed Atomic Highway setting and can even take a lot of the guesswork out of it for you with the random roll charts. Do you need it? No...but it sure does up the zany fun factor playing a mutant humanoid Venus Flytrap Bounty Hunter that can burn things with his mind.